Saturday, July 26, 2014


Trail Dust, the steak house famous for cutting off your tie if you wear one, a place known for its live country western music, dance floor, and steaks! A real Texas experience for anyone who wants to be a cowboy for a night! I couldn't wait to eat here and have been waiting for months to get a chance to eat a steak at Trail Dust in Arlington. I, unfortunately, was disappointed beyond belief at this joke of a place. 

Trail Dust is in a giant barn, because yet again, it's a Texas themed western place! YEE HAW! Well their giant lighted sign is a neck tie being cut in half by scissors, they are famous for this and have 1,000 ties hanging from their walls from people that dared to wear a tie inside! There are signs all over saying they will cut your tie off if you wear it. Not sure why the hatred for the ties but it's just what they do.........or so they think. I'll bitch later. For now let me discuss the atmosphere. 

So far so good, a giant BBQ pit cooking up ribs and steaks and a live band was playing some familiar music with the dance floor full of kids and people dancing away. Really rustic on the inside with wooden walls and wagon wheel lights and pictures of famous cowboys all over the place. Not too bad, I was already enjoying myself a few seconds into this dining experience. This is where the enjoyment ended as well. Once seated at our table we began to look at the menu and talk about what was good or what we wanted. The problem here was the music was so loud you literally couldn't hear the person beside you. This was annoying. The music wasn't that good either it was just 3 guys, a guitarist, a bass player and a drummer. They did some famous songs we all know and love, just not as well as the original bands. Also, NO AIR CONDITIONER. Yes, you heard me, NO AIR CONDITIONER. I was just plain pissed at this idea of fans and being an old time place that would refuse to use air conditioners, or maybe they were broke, beats me, either way it is July in freaking Texas, if you don't have an air conditioner at your establishment, you don't have me as a customer, PERIOD. 

As we sweated in our noise filled section I looked over the legendary steak menu! I was shocked and horrified at how few choices there really were. A steak place, in my opinion, should have more than a few steaks, some of which were the same steak just different oz. sizes. Call me crazy but a steak house specializing in steaks and it doesn't even have a New York strip steak.......really? Come on Trail Dust. The prices were also just plain outrageous and ridiculous. Laughable comes to mind when thinking about the prices. The steaks were big, I will say that, but almost too big. It took me a very long time to find something I actually wanted, it ended up being the smallest steak on the whole menu. Good thing it took me so long to find something because our slow-ass waiter took even longer. By the time he came for the drink order we were like, WATER...NOW, PLEASE...NO AIR CONDITIONER REMEMBER??? Well it took a very long time before we ever saw him again and the second he put down my cup of water, yes I said cup and not glass, it was styrofoam, I drank the whole thing and considering there was more ice than water, that didn't take very long. I know its a very common trick to use a ton of ice so there isn't much drink in a glass but this was water! How cheap can you get Trail Dust??? Let's find out. Oh btw when was the next time he filled up my cup of water? Half way through  eating my steak. 

We were waiting and waiting and then we waited some more. The music, although too loud to have a conversation with anyone around you, wasn't too bad considering there was nothing else to do. Finally our salads came and let me tell you, I'm not a big salad guy and I wasn't going to pay the extra to upgrade to a Caesar but what they brought out was a joke, even for a salad. Some lettuce, dried and shriveled lettuce I might add, some chopped up cucumbers, and officially the worst croutons I've ever had. That's what they called a salad. Congratulations Trail Dust, maybe not the worst salad I've ever eaten but definitely the worst croutons I've ever had, and folks, I've had homemade croutons. 

One minute, and I mean one minute after the terrible salads were dropped off we got our dinners. Thank you Trail Dust for waiting so long before giving us those terrible salads that our entrĂ©es came out a minute later. It did save me from having to finish that lettuce crap, even though I doubt I would have. I ordered a loaded baked potato with my meal. How nice for Trail Dust to bring me a potato still wrapped in aluminum foil with all the loaded part on the side so I could make it myself, thank you Trail Dust for allowing me to do your job for you! The steak you say.......boring. It really didn't look like something I wanted to dig into but this was after 9pm and we were all so hungry who cares at this point?? The flavor was good, I will say that of Trail Dust. Not the best steak ever, not even close, I know I have made better in my own kitchen, let alone my own grill. It was warm btw, not hot, but warm as if it had been sitting a while. Not worth the money by any means. And the "basket of bread" that was listed with our meals was literally a half of slice of white bread on our plates with no butter. Thank you again Trail Dust for not only lying, but letting us watch our carb intakes without you knowing we wanted to do that! Talk about a bunch of cheap bastards. 

So after the subpar steak, well hell, it was a subbogey steak, or even a subdoublebogey steak if you want to get technical, we were done and ready to get out of this stupid place. Not so fast! That was our waiter's speed, "not so fast." Again, not the worst waiter of all time, (that record still belongs to Vice from my Reunion Tower review, and one I doubt any waiter will ever top) but pretty bad. At one point we asked if he could check on something on the menu, he said he had no idea if they had that there but he would go check. We never heard from him again on that. It took forever to get the bill and it took just as long for the guy to come back and get it. You'd think a place like that would be trying to get their money as fast as they could. 

One thing our waiter did do was tell us about the famous tie cuttings. He told us that if you ask, they will cut your tie off and they cut ties off for birthdays only, OR if you ask them to cut them off. When specifically asked "Do they cut your tie off if you just walk in here with one on," he said, no, they wouldn't do that. WAIT WHAT??? It's the ONLY thing you're known for, because your bad steaks sure as hell aren't going to be what draws people in! Your giant sign outside has a tie being cut off, there are 1,000 ties on the wall and there are signs on every wall saying they will cut your tie off!!! But the truth is, they don't actually do that. Ask to have your tie cut off? What stupid idiot asked for that? Let me tell you I purposely didn't wear my tie in that place because I don't want my Calvin Klein's to be cut in half and IF somebody there tried it I would be cutting off something of more value off of them. Either way, I didn't need to worry because it wasn't my birthday and I didn't ask for them to cut it off. What a joke Trail Dust, you're such a liar. Perhaps our moron waiter just didn't know what he was talking about, I believe that could have been the case as he was a moron. 

I couldn't get out of there fast enough, and I mean that, I really couldn't because of how slow our waiter was and how bad the service was. To rate the atmosphere I will give it a high rating of B-, that is, IF there was air conditioning and since I was sweating and starving and annoyed with the music, I give it a D-, I did expect it to be country and rustic so I can't complain about that. For the service I give it a nice solid F, could have been worse ( know what I'm talking about) but nothing I would consider to be great, good, decent, or even bad service. The food as a whole counting the salads and unloaded baked potato and half slice of bread I didn't even touch I give it a nice big fat D- BUT if we add the steak it would bring that up just a bit to a D+. The steak alone, while not the worst I've ever had, (Truck Stop in Clearfield PA, congratulations for the worst steak of all time had by me) it certainly was not the best, or even a very good steak. Outback steak house has ten times better steaks than what I had at this famed steak barn. The steak itself would be a B-, very flavorful but not hot, not juicy, not appealing, and zero fat, the best part of any steak. It was also very dry, I'm dropping that down to a C now that I think about it. 

All in all Trial Dust of Arlington, the big red barn steak house famous for cutting off ties sucks. It really sucks. At least it did that night. What a waste of time, money, and sweat. Would I try it again? Maybe, but just one more time to confirm how bad it truly is. The problem is I've heard nothing but amazing stories of their food and atmosphere but the person that told me most of them said how terrible the food and service was this night. Trail Dust you get a nice solid D+ from me. Go at your own risk, oh and people.....go ahead and wear a tie, they won't do shit to you. And THAT'S my two cents. 

Friday, July 18, 2014


Orchids, probably the strangest looking flowers out there. Their appearance is almost fake because they are so unique. When people talk about keeping orchids one of the most common things you will hear is, "they are SO hard to take care of!" Well that simply isn't true as I have found out for myself, that is, as long as you do a few very simple things to keep them happy. An orchid needs very specific conditions, if you provide those, taking care of these beautiful little guys is easy and rewarding. And as always, a plant will tell you exactly what it just have to know how to listen.

Let me start with my personal history of the orchid flower. If you want to skip all this crap just scroll down until you find, "orchid care." The first time I saw an orchid for sale in a store it was years ago but I remember how I felt when seeing one for the first time. I actually laughed and snickered and thought, "what kind of a moron would buy such a stupid looking fake flower???" I honestly thought it was a plastic fake decoration. I had no idea that it was an actual living plant, I thought someone had made it for show. That's how amazing they are though, they don't even look real. Their colors and simplicity make the orchid, (the phalaenopsis orchids to be exact) an extraordinary flowering plant to display. All I ever heard was, "stay away from them, they are so hard to grow." I never bothered with them and for years I knew nothing about them.

FAST FORWARD TO TWO YEARS AGO: My older sister gets a phalaenopsis orchid for my mother, I think it was Mother's Day? My mother has no green thumb by any means, in fact I joke with her that she has a black hand due to all the plant deaths she's caused over the years. My first reaction to the gift was, what a bone-head present this will turn out to be, one of the most difficult plants to have and a woman that kills some of the easiest plants to take care of, a match made it heaven! I did find the orchid to be extremely beautiful but again, no surprises there. It didn't matter because in my mind after a few days of looking spectacular the flowers would droop, wilt and fall off, and then it was only a matter of time before the leaves began to shrivel and turn brown, dry up and fall off leaving a long dead dried stick in the pot where a marvelous flower once stood. I was wrong and my assumption couldn't have been further from the truth. To my delight AND shock this orchid bloomed for months and is still alive to this very day. I was also very surprised and intrigued about the watering method, placing ice cubes in the pot. (I will discuss this in the care section) I was determined to  not let my mother kill this flower, I reminded her of the "watering" and always found it had already been taken care of by my mother. It's hard to NOT kill these plants with kindness as is the most often cause of death by orchid owners. As I stated before my mother's orchid plant lived through the winter, flowerless, but we all believed that it would re-bloom when the time was right and sure enough, it did.

Fast forward to the present. So I was in the grocery store and there were a ton of flower bouquets in there and on a small table there sat, by itself, a lonely orchid. It said, "manager's special" on the side and marked down to $3.99. That's ridiculously cheap for an orchid flower. I didn't know what was wrong with it, in fact, it didn't seem to be that bad off to me, I assumed it had to do with watering or should I say, lack there of, to be a likely reason for it getting the manager's special tag. I bought it and headed home to find out just what was the matter. I did ton of research and there are a lot of great YouTube channels and websites that helped me learn a great deal. Turns out there are a lot of different kinds of orchid flowers but the one that you probably recognize is the phalaenopsis. I think these are the best, I like them the most anyway. They require some very specific things to grow and last for years. They bloom and the flowers can last several months and they can bloom several times a year.
New buds coming out on the Manager's Special 

I now hunt down these, "manager's specials," in stores saving these dying ones that actually just need some TLC and the proper conditions. The problem with selling orchids is that to ship them and keep them alive in stores looking beautiful means doing things to them that you should never do when you are keeping them in your home. THAT is why people say they are hard to grow and keep alive. When you buy them from the store they are already in need of some help but people don't know this or understand it. So they have the flower for a short time, it starts to wilt and die and they are scratching their heads saying, "why did that happen, I guess they are just hard to care for!" Well they aren't and I will share some tips and tricks with you to help not only keep your orchid alive but keep it thriving for years!

My Manager's Special 
ORCHID CARE:  Phalaenopsis Ochids to be specific. First things first. It is important to note that these orchids love moisture BUT not being damp, wet, soaking, or sitting in water. That is the reason why the moss medium is a terrible idea, sure it's great to keep moisture in BUT it does harm by keeping the roots very damp. Plus orchid roots need air, they like air around them, in the wild they literally cling to trees and never use dirt. Planting in moss really restricts the air flow around roots. I think this is why the ice cube method works well, because it is a very small amount of water, just enough to keep the plant alive but not enough saturation to kill them. Freezing cold water is something that I do not recommend, that's why I'm against the ice cube method. (My mother used this and still uses this for the orchid she has had for over a year. It has bloomed 3 different times in the past year using ice cubes to water.)

PLANTING: Well you should wait until the plant is done blooming before you do this, that is tough considering if it is in moss you SHOULD replant it. Just wait as the stress on a re-potting could be too much. I find the bark medium a much safer way to plant your orchid. They sell it in almost all stores that carry plants, Lowes, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and so on. Orchid roots like to be tight and constricted, unlike most other plants so don't feel they need a huge container when replanting them. The roots should be green and if they are a silvery-grey, they want some water. You can actually see them change color when you water. Some roots may be sticking up or growing out of the pot, this is ok, they are air roots and you shouldn't try to cram them down into the pot, just let them grow. Misting them helps to make a happy orchid.

WATERING: Seems like this is the most debated thing when discussing orchids. Some say the ice cube method is the way to go. Others say tap water works great as long as it's tepid. I've heard running water is what you should do. Some suggest letting it sit in water for a few minutes then make sure it drains well. So what is the right way to do it? I honestly can't say. I do know that the bark dries out very fast and you're going to have to keep an eye on your plant. I run water through mine and this seems to be working so far. Like I said before, orchids like to have moisture but not be wet. Make sure you have a well draining container. Misting helps as well or even a shallow dish of water underneath because orchids love humidity.

Watering too much can cause droopy leaves and ultimately death. I will say less is more when it comes to watering but not nearly as much as a cactus or succulent and I have learned that watering these guys more often than once a week has been needed and welcomed by the plants. Watering slightly more during blooming will probably be needed.

SUNLIGHT:  Plants need sunlight, did you know that? Most first-graders do so I sure hope this wasn't a shock to you. What you might not know is that the phalaenopsis orchid likes filtered sunlight and never direct. Keep in mind, these guys come from growing on and under trees, they would naturally have less light getting to them. Leaves should be olive green and perky, standing up is an indication of good watering. A dark green leaf means not enough light. Red or brown spots or edges can mean too much sunlight as they will burn if they get too much. A shear curtain in front of your window does great to give the orchid just enough light but not burn it. An east facing window also works best.

BLOOMING: Your orchid will bloom because it is a flower and that's what it does. It may take a while if it has no flowers but a healthy plant should bloom about twice a year, sometimes more. The flowers should last a few months as well. Keep in mind that when your flower starts to bloom, don't change its direction! It will try to bend towards the light if you move it. When shopping for an orchid try to get one that is just starting to bloom or sending out some buds, this way you'll get to see the flowers bloom for yourself and you know it is just beginning its flower cycle. A flower fully bloomed may be near the end of the cycle and you'll never know but if you start to see flowers falling off a week later you might not see anymore for a year, and that can be disappointing and disheartening but remember, your flower is NOT dead at this point! It is still a plant and still needs to be taken care of just the same.

I hope this helped but remember there is so much more to know about the world of orchids. I suggest consulting Youtube or other webpages about phalaenopsis orchids once you get one, there is so much more information you'll eventually need. They are great little flowers and in my opinion, can't be matched in beauty. 

Friday, July 4, 2014


 I just found out there was a movie from 1990 about a 1974 Dodge Charger that terrorized the land! What a great idea for a movie but as we know the acting in 1990 was some of the worst of all time and if something was made for tv, it was even worse. So how bad or good was this movie? Find out now! Just imagine Jaws if it took place on the land and not in the ocean, and instead of a shark it was a 1974 Dodge Charger, and instead of beach goers it's young girls, that's this movie.

It one you've ever heard of. The movie opens up with a man and his daughter broken down on the side of the road with their white Ford Tempo. Already highly accurate and believable. We then see a dirty 74 Charger coming down the road and the man thinks, "Oh good, this car will stop and save us!" BUT OH NO HE DIDN'T. Like most 1974 Dodge Chargers, it speeds up and smashed the Tempo's door off. (Some will say the Ford Tempo's door just happened to fall off as they often did and it was merely coincidence that the Charger was driving by at the exact same time). We then see the Charger back up and the door opens..............the scene ends there and we have no clue who or what or why this is happening, but we are intrigued.

Next we get to meet the main character of the story. She's a single mom that moved from L.A. to be in this tiny Arizona town, classic story. She also happens to be a bus driver and just so happens the guy that works on the buses, a stereotypical Mexican mechanic named Luis, put a racing engine into her bus! Well of course he did because that makes perfect sense! (Hmm...I wonder if that race engine will come into play later on....probably not). She seems happy in this town, as does her daughter Stephanie. When she is picking Stephanie up from gymnastics class she asks the teacher what are the odds of winning and the teacher replies with, "All I know is, I'm going to sleep with every male judge there." That's pretty blunt lady and cheaters never prosper! Either way you never hear about that again so it's not important I just laughed really hard at that line.

While driving kids home from school the Charger stalks her and them. You never see who is driving the car BUT we do often see their perspective from inside the Charger as kids are walking home from school. The bus driver woman takes some kids home. He comes up and drives close to them making the kids and the woman very worried and distraught. The kids start to yell out in fear. If you listen closely you can actually hear a little boy go, "cool!" Haha, yes little boy, that evil car trying to kill you guys is cool. Eventually the Charger disappears and everyone seems to be safe.........OR ARE THEY?!?!

A girl is walking home after being dropped off by the bus and we see the Charger slowly approach. It then circles her just like a kick-ass metal V8 shark. She screams and tries to run away but the Charger flings open its door and snatches the girl up. Lesson learned: You can't outrun a Charger on foot. The townspeople hold a meeting about the terror on wheels that is plaguing their little town but no one has a solution as the cop says, "Hey I'd like them to be more safe but I'm just one man." So they just continue to live life as they always have, carefree with their guard down. The kids will be safe enough........OR WILL THEY?!?!?

The Charger spends its day tailing kids home from school and mysteriously disappearing after the woman bus driver spots it.  She dreams about it chasing her and then wakes up, it was all a dream!..........OR WAS IT?!?! (Talk about a night terror on wheelsA few times it even shows up at her house in the middle of the night to rev its engine and do burnouts on her front lawn. These scenes were really awesome by the way. 

Soon the little girl's best friend is abducted by the evil Charger. She gets in while it is parked outside the school, not sure why she did this. No way she thought it was her mother, her mother wouldn't be driving such a cool car. The bus driver lady knows damn well that it wasn't the girl's mother and she's going to go complain to the sheriff about it. A huge search reveals that the girl is dead in a swamp. Well that's just great and as the bus driver's little girl tells her mom how sad she is that she lost her best friend they hear an odd sound outside of their a loud engine....IT'S THE DEATH CHARGER!!! It's outside in the pouring rain and it decides to rev its engine and peel out of their driveway. The two frightened idiots hug each other crying.

As you can guess the bus driver's little girl is also kidnapped by the Charger but that bus driving mother won't let her child get away and she tears after them in her bus, thank goodness it has a race car engine in it!!! (Did you see that coming?) She is able to keep up with Charger for the most part even though the kids on the bus are crying and yelling at her to stop. They go through a lot of desert-type land and on dirt roads. This is actually a pretty cool chase scene. Unfortunately for the bus driving mom they get to an actual highway and once the Charger hits that pavement, it's gone! The bus just can't keep up although the mom has her bus floored and the passengers terrified.

A bike cop comes after the bus and pulls it over which really angers the mom because she can't lose the Charger anymore than she already has! She gets out and starts yelling at the cop about the car that took her daughter. He actually seems to understand her incoherent screaming and says he will go ahead and call the other cops. But wait, it's time for a slow motion reaction as the mother realizes.........THE CHARGER IS JUMPING OFF A CLIFF RIGHT AT THE BIKE COP!!! It lands on him and destroys the motorcycle as well as the police officer. (Awesome fake mannequin cop part here, it's worth several rewinds.) Well now the woman is pissed but gets back on the bus and takes off after the Charger.

This next part takes forever as she chases him and he chases her and she rams him and he rams her. At one point the Charger tries to trap her at some gas station place and circles her smashing the gas pumps making a ring of fire. It also tries to push her off a cliff and the bus is teetering over the edge with the kids freaking out. It also tries to trap her in some factory thing but yet again she escapes and it drives off. She chases it again for what seems like forever until they get to a big mining operation and although they aren't allowed to drive around that dangerous place with explosives (foreshadowing) they drive right in ramming into one another. The mom does a pretty good job of banging up the Charger here, you'd think she'd be worried about hurting her daughter but she doesn't seem to care. The daughter IS alive by the way because she occasionally pops her head out of the window or sun roof to yell for help.

Finally the woman and Charger are racing around smacking each other and the little girl manages to crawl out of the open sun roof and hangs on to the bus, it's actually a pretty cool scene with the stunts. The bus pushes the Charger and we see it falling off a cliff. The nightmare is finally over.

The mother and daughter hug now that the terror has finally stopped. They cry and hug and are safe at last.....OR ARE THEY?!?!?! They both hear a distant familiar revving of an engine. They look up to see....THE CHARGER IS BACK! This time he means to ram them at full speed! He peels out and flies towards the bus BUT THE BUS WON'T START! The mom turns the key and turns the key and the Charger is getting closer and closer! This looks like the end............then the mother starts the bus and floors it in reverse nearly missing the charging Charger. The evil Charger flies off a cliff (again) but this time it is much, MUCH higher. This is a really cool part because they really flung that car off a huge cliff. It lands nose first into a giant trailer that says, "EXPLOSIVES" on the side (how convenient). A massive explosion of epic proportion ensues and we see a giant fire ball and black smoke rolling up the side of the mountain. Finally the terror is over..........OR IS IT?!?!? No, it really is this time.

Wheels of Terror is one of the best movies I've ever seen in the past 2 hours. It has all the wonderful acting of a TV movie from 1990 with all the huge mega super stars such one.

 Now to grade this movie. For the acting I give it a solid D, definitely not the worst I've watched but enough to make you laugh out loud. For the plot I give it a C- it was a cool idea but it didn't explain anything and it never really showed the bad guys. This movie is an hour and a half which is pretty long but in it's defense many shots were done in slow motion. The music gets a D- because it was clearly made for TV movie style music and every single time we see the Charger we hear that, "this is the bad guy and or something serious is about to happen" classic over-done music. The actors get a nice big F+ because they did make me laugh but this wasn't supposed to be a comedy. Overall I give this movie an A+ because no matter what it has a 1974 Dodge Charger in it that is totally badass, always revving its engine, peeling out, and terrorizing a small town with some great chase scenes. There are some really great shots in this movie and honestly where else are you going to see that much of a 74 Charger??? The tag line is also pure gold, "Evil waits...with the motor running."

I highly recommend this movie if you're a Mopar fan, a Charger fan, a fan of really bad movies, or just want a good laugh from some bad acting.